March 20, 2012

READING, PA – Cambridge-Lee Industries, LLC will expand its Reading, PA-based manufacturing facility, growing its workforce by up to 250 and adding significant new manufacturing capabilities. The company will break ground on its new 195,000 square foot facility in May 2012, with a projected completion of May 2013. Dolan Construction is the General Contractor.

Cambridge-Lee Industries is a manufacturer and distributor of copper tubing for water supply, air conditioning, refrigeration, and commercial applications. The expansion will allow the company to produce thin-wall copper tubes that are used for air conditioning for the first time in Pennsylvania. The new plant will manufacture under the stringent consistency requirements of this particular type of tubing, permitting material efficiencies and labor savings that are necessary for the company to compete successfully in the international market.

Cambridge-Lee will employ as many as 250 new workers in addition to the 300 current Pennsylvania employees. This will make the company an even more significant employer in the Greater Reading area.

“We are extremely pleased with our workers here in Reading,” said Ed Kerins, CEO of Cambridge-Lee. “We are committed to the business community in this region.”

Cambridge-Lee opened a state-of-the-art distribution center, located adjacent to the main facility in Reading, in 2006. With help from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, and the Enterprise Systems Partners, Inc., this facility was designed with efficient storage and less than half the footprint of the original warehouse. This facility effectively met Cambridge-Lee’s needs then as well as into the future.

More recently, the company worked with Ben Franklin and Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technologies Applications Center to identify substantial energy-savings opportunities in the company’s production furnaces. “Energy is a big part of Cambridge-Lee’s overhead costs,” said Connie Faylor, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Regional Manager Greater Reading/Berks and Schuylkill.” The company’s Energy Assessment Project will provide the company with substantial cost savings at the current plant and potentially in the new facility as well.”

“This expansion has represented a productive partnership among economic development programs to help us create jobs,” said Cambridge-Lee’s Kerins. “In addition to Ben Franklin, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team and Greater Berks Development Fund facilitated support from the State via a grant, assistance, and low-interest financing. On a local level, Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach and Jon Scott of the Berks Economic Partnership have been extremely helpful. Commissioner Leinbach arranged a meeting of all concerned parties in order to expedite this process.”

“This is a significant step forward both for Cambridge-Lee and for the Greater Reading Area,” added Kerins.